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Franziska Vogl and Karine Sargsyan

Only a few publications are available about the expiration date of biological sample collections. In contrast, the expiration date of informed consent was discussed in multiple different research articles. This book chapter discusses the term “expiration date” in the context of biobanking from various different perspectives: financial, ethical, and legal. In addition, we elucidate the impact of sample quality, data availability and the analytical methods on the life time of biospecimens. From daily experience at Biobank Graz, one of the largest repositories of clinical samples in Europe, we derived that the lifetime of biomaterials depends on five main factors. These five factors are: (1) collection strategy (see above), (2) sample quality, (3) storage conditions and duration and sample type, (4) availability of data, and (5) the intended application. Thus, the “expiration date” of a sample is not one fixed date, but rather is flexible and strongly dependent on the intended application and on the financial resources of the respective biobank. In fact, the most probable reason for termination of biobanks is financial issues (in most cases a lack of funding). However, access to long-term funding for biobanks is still a problem and strategies to recover biobanking costs are emerging. The use of a well-functioning and expensive infrastructure for only one collection strategy is unusual. The considerable part of biobanks have opted for diversity and run both disease-based and population-based collections. Usually the collections for retrospective and epidemiological studies do not have any limitation in time. Therefore the research usage of biospecimens is unspecified in time and matter. Until now, the expiration date for a biobank was never a point of discussion. In this context, a very peculiar question is: How much is the cost of termination of a biobank? The calculations made at Biobank Graz should be considered as a starting point in future discussions.

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Gerhard Bosch

Income inequality in Germany increased dramatically owing to the erosion of its wage-setting system, which had followed the inclusive model until the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, social dialogue continued to play a central role in Germany, becoming even more important in recent times. A milestone was reached in revitalising the social dialogue, encouraged by the universal ability to deal with the financial crisis through innovative working time models and the establishment of more than half a million apprenticeships during the crisis, preventing a rise in youth unemployment. The handling of the crisis through dialogue left an impression on the social partners who were all proud to have navigated the crisis successfully. It certainly improved the cooperation between employers’ associations and social partners, and is perhaps the blueprint to follow in the next crisis. Also, the new minimum wage successfully set a low-wage threshold to help stem the competitiveness of some companies to lower wages.

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Rosalind Searle, Ruth Sealy and Beverley Hawkins

Despite a plethora of programs and policy interventions over the last forty years, limited progression has occurred for women into top leadership positions in organizations. It is the same in different sectors, different industries, and different countries. This chapter adopts a fresh perspective on this topic by focusing on the accumulated experiences of female employees’ life-cycle and women’s psychological attachment to their careers and employers. It reviews the distinct micro-aggressions experienced by subordinate women employees, coupled with the divergence of rhetoric and reality that accompanies their “equality of access” towards the top of organizations. Using a trust dynamics lens, the authors show how the impact of psychological contract breaches and violations is different for women, and can be responsible for transforming trust to distrust, diminishing their retention in organizational talent pools for elite roles. The chapter shows how the gender differences in HR policy outcomes from recruitment and selection, reward and recognition, and career progression can violate the psychological contract to induce sensebreaking negative anchoring events that undermine individuals’ psychological attachment to their careers.

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Jane Kaye and Megan Prictor

Biobanks are rich repositories of biological materials (such as DNA) and other health and demographic data, often collected over a long period, that can be used for a variety of research purposes to improve the health of individuals and populations. It is important that the value of biobanks is maximized, but at this point in time, there are a number of challenges to achieving this. There are continued debates over the most appropriate mode of gaining consent from people who contribute tissue samples and data to biobanks, that will uphold high ethical standards and enable autonomous decisionmaking. As in other fields, there are changing legal and regulatory frameworks that can have significant implications for biobank management. There are also increasing concerns as to whether biobanks are achieving maximum usage and what the longer-term sustainability plans of maintaining these repositories should be. In this chapter, we outline some of the risks facing biobanks, using examples drawn from a range of international settings. We suggest that the concept of “Dynamic Consent,” a digital platform for engaging research participants, has the capacity to ensure a more engaged and informed cohort of participants, that might in turn address many of the legal and sustainability challenges currently facing biobanks. In this chapter, current uses of Dynamic Consent platforms in biobanking research in the UK, continental Europe, and the USA, and outline considerations for future application and evaluation of this tool to help enhance the relevance, ethical operation, sustainability, and interoperability of biobanks, are examined.

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Gianni Lo Schiavo

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the rapid rise of non-performing loans (NPLs) showed the fragility of the banking system and the lack of harmonized regulatory regime to address the systemic risk of failing banks. The deterioration of NPLs in the balance sheet of credit institutions represents a real concern for the supervisory authorities and constitutes a challenge for regulators and market actors. This chapter examines the supervision of NPLs taking into consideration the architecture of Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) and the role of European Central Bank (ECB) to monitor non-performing exposures. The new supervisory toolkit implemented in the European Banking Union aims to improve the classification of asset quality and to establish common practices to resolve NPLs. This chapter argues that the intricate structure of the preventive measures to reduce the risk of lending defines a new landscape in the prudential treatment of NPLs.

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Kern Alexander

The ECB has been conferred prudential tasks under the SSM Regulation. The exercise of direct prudential powers stemming from Union directly applicable law has been conferred to the ECB. At the same time, the scope of the application of national law by the ECB under Article 4(3) of the SSM Regulation allows the ECB to apply directly national law implementing Union law. This chapter intends to examine the novel topic of application of national law by the ECB and assess the scope, tasks and powers of the ECB in applying national law. The chapter will examine the framework for application of national law and examine the various ways in which the ECB applies national law. In particular, these consist in the application of national law directly and indirectly implementing EU directives and raise questions on the application of national procedural and substantive laws. Finally, the chapter proposes some policy reforms in order to address some issues related to the application of national law by the ECB. These proposals suggest reviews of the applicable Union legislation or regulation and the adoption of ECB policies in certain fields.

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Rafael Muñoz de Bustillo

This chapter reviews the role played by the system of industrial relations in the working of the Spanish labour market, focusing on the level of security and flexibility achieved and its impact on inequality. With that aim, we first review the main characteristics of the Spanish system of industrial relations before the Great Recession, including the role played by social agreements and social consultation, and the major changes produced during the economic crisis, both in terms of labour (de)regulation and in terms of the changing power relations between workers and firms resulting from the massive increase in unemployment. With this background, we explore the impact of the system of industrial relations on the functioning of the labour market in terms of jobs security and income inequality using, among other sources, the 2014 wave of the Structure of Earnings Survey. This chapter will provide two successful equality-enhancing case studies of social dialogue.

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Rafael Leal-Arcas

This chapter provides an analysis of the tension in the decision-making processes in EU commercial policy. It further provides an analysis of why the EU has been criticized for its commercial policy, for being unable to negotiate without internal agreement, and for being incapable of negotiating with one voice. The chapter focuses on the challenges in attaining a coherent and accountable EU trade policy. EU trade policy would be more coherent if more power were to be given to the European Commission. Thus, the main tension in the EU trade policy decision-making process (efficiency versus accountability) will be analysed. The chapter shows that being more transparent and more internally accountable implies less efficiency in decision-making. It focuses on the difficulties of having unanimity in the EU Council in an enlarged EU of over 30 Member States; thus, the need to have qualified majority vote in the EU Council to avoid a Europaralysis in EU trade policy-making for services trade and the commercial aspects of intellectual property rights.

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Edited by Raymond E. Levitt, W. R. Scott and Michael J. Garvin

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Sergio Montero

Bogotá has become a sustainable urban transport reference for many cities around the world, both in the global North and the South. This chapter shows that the rapid and global circulation of Bogotá’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system Transmilenio and car-free programme Ciclov'a is related to the existence of a set of experts who have persuaded mayors and local leaders around the world to adopt these policies in their home cities rather than to the technical merits of the policies themselves. These experts were able to enact persuasion thanks to a powerful – yet simplified – narrative that linked Bogotá’s urban transformation to these transport policies; a set of artefacts, including videos, photographs and moving quotes, that connected local leaders with the policies in an emotional way; and the building of policy ‘buzz’ and trust between these experts and local leaders that was facilitated through face-to-face encounters in conferences. Thus, the chapter reveals how the mobilisation of simplified stories of urban transformation and development are key actions behind the global circulation of urban policies; how policy learning is not exclusively a rational process but rather one influenced by emotional connection; and how conferences and policy forums are still important arenas where persuasion is enacted.