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Article

Access_open Autonomy in old age

Journal Family & Law, May 2019
Authors prof. dr. Tineke Abma and dr. Elena Bendien
AbstractAuthor's information

    Background: In many European countries caring responsibilities are being reallocated to the older people themselves to keep the welfare state affordable. This policy is often legitimized with reference to the ethical principle of autonomy. Older people are expected to be autonomous, have freedom to make their own decisions, and be self-reliant and self-sufficient as long as possible.
    Aim: The purpose of this article is to explore whether and how older people can remain autonomous in order to continue living their lives in accordance with their own values in the context of declining professional caring facilities and shrinking social networks, and which concepts of autonomy can guide professionals and other involved parties in facilitating the choices of older people.
    Method: An empirical-ethical approach is used to interpret the moral values enacted in the caring practice for older people. Two cases are presented. One is the narrative of a woman who lives by herself; she has been hospitalized after a fall and hip fracture, but does not want to be operatied. The second is the narrative of man living in a residential home; he wants to be actively involved, doing good deeds like he always did as a Scout. The cases are evaluated with the help of two concepts of autonomy: autonomy as self-determination and relational autonomy.
    Results: In both cases the enactment of autonomy remains problematic. In the case of the woman there was not enough care at home to live up to her own values. After she was admitted to a hospital her wish not to be operated was questioned but ultimately honoured due to compassionate interference by close relatives and her oncologist. In the second case there was not enough space for the man to lead his life in the way he always had; his plans for improving the social environment in the care home were torpedoed by management and ultimately the man decided to step back.
    Conclusion: In order to do justice to the complexity of each empirical case that involves autonomy of an older person more than one concept of autonomy needs to be applied. Relying on self-determination or relational autonomy exclusively will give professionals and all involved parties a restricted view on the situation, where the wishes of older people are at stake. In both cases autonomy was overruled by system procedures and stereotypical ideas about old people as being weak and not able to make their own decisions. Both cases show, however, that older people - even if they are physically and mentally frail - long to remain morally responsible for the direction their lives are taking, in accordance with their own values. They communicate their wish to determine their own future and at the same time they are interdependent on others to realize their (relational) autonomy and require support in their attempt to maintain their identity. This conclusion has implications for the normative behaviour of the professionals who are involved in care and treatment of older people.
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    Achtergrond: In veel landen wordt de verantwoordelijkheid voor de zorg voor ouderen naar de ouderen zelf verplaatst, dit teneinde de welvaartstaat betaalbaar te houden. Dit beleid wordt veelal gelegitimeerd met referentie naar het ethische principe van autonomie. Oudere mensen worden geacht autonoom te zijn, vrij te zijn om hun eigen beslissingen te nemen, en om zo lang mogelijk zelfredzaam te blijven.
    Doel: Het doel van dit artikel is om te onderzoeken of en hoe oudere mensen autonoom kunnen blijven teneinde hun leven in overeenstemming met hun eigen waarden te kunnen voortzetten in de context van teruglopende professionele zorgactiviteiten en krimpende sociale netwerken, en welke concepten van autonomie zorgprofessionals en andere betrokken partijen kunnen helpen bij het faciliteren van de keuzes door ouderen.
    Methode: Een empirisch-ethische benadering wordt gebuikt om de morele waarden in de zorgpraktijk voor ouderen te interpreteren. Twee casussen worden gepresenteerd. De eerste is het verhaal van een vrouw die op zichzelf woont. Ze is na een val waarbij haar heup is gebroken, in een ziekenhuis opgenomen, maar ze wil niet geopereerd worden. De tweede is het verhaal van een man die in een verzorgingshuis woont. Hij wil actief betrokken worden en goede dingen doen zoals hij die altijd heeft gedaan toen hij padvinder was. Beide verhalen worden met behulp van twee concepten van autonomie geëvalueerd: autonomie als zelfbeschikking en relationele autonomie.
    Resultaat: In beide casussen blijft de verwezenlijking van autonomie problematisch. In het geval van de vrouw was er thuis onvoldoende zorg om volgens haar waarden te kunnen leven. Toen zij in het ziekenhuis was opgenomen werd haar wens om niet te worden geopereerd tegen gehouden, maar uiteindelijk ingewilligd als gevolg van bemoeienis uit hoofde van barmhartigheid door directe verwanten en haar oncoloog. In het tweede geval was er voor de man onvoldoende ruimte om zijn leven te leiden op de manier zoals hij dat altijd had gedaan. Zijn plannen om de sociale omgeving in het verzorgingshuis te verbeteren werden door het management getorpedeerd en uiteindelijk heeft hij zich ervan teruggetrokken.
    Conclusie: Teneinde recht te doen aan de complexiteit van beide casussen die betrekking hebben op de autonomie van een oudere, dient meer dan één concept voor autonomie te worden ingezet. Het vertrouwen in zelfbeschikking of relationele autonomie alleen zal aan de professionals en alle andere betrokken partijen een beperkt zicht geven van de situatie wanneer het de wensen van ouderen betreft. In beide gevallen werd de autonomie ter zijde geschoven door protocollen en stereotypische ideeën over ouderen als kwetsbare personen die niet in staat zouden zijn om zelf hun beslissingen te nemen. Echter tonen beide voorbeelden aan dat ouderen, zelfs als ze fysiek en mentaal kwetsbaar zijn, de wens hebben om moreel verantwoordelijk te blijven voor de richting die hun leven zal nemen, in overeenstemming met hun eigen waarden. Zij geven de wens aan om hun eigen toekomst te bepalen en tegelijkertijd zijn ze onderling afhankelijk van anderen om hun (relationele) autonomie te verwezenlijken, én hebben ze behoefte aan steun bij hun poging om hun identiteit te behouden. Deze conclusie heeft gevolgen voor het normatieve handelen van professionals die bij de zorg en behandeling van ouderen betrokken zijn.


prof. dr. Tineke Abma
Professor dr. Tineke A. Abma is a full professor of Participation and Diversity at the Department of Medical Humanities of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.

dr. Elena Bendien
Dr. Elena Bendien is a social gerontologist and a senior researcher at the Department of Medical Humanities of Amsterdam UMC, location VUmc.
Article

Teaching restorative practices through games: an experiential and relational restorative pedagogy

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords restorative pedagogy, games, teaching, experiential learning
Authors Lindsey Pointer and Kathleen McGoey
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article argues for the use of games as an effective and dynamic way to teach restorative practices. Grounded in an understanding of restorative pedagogy, a paradigm of teaching in alignment with restorative values and principles, as well as experiential learning strategies, this article introduces games as a way for students to experience and more deeply understand restorative practices while building relationships and skills. Personal accounts of the authors about the impact of using games to teach restorative practices in their own communities are also included.


Lindsey Pointer
Lindsey Pointer is a PhD Candidate at Victoria University of Wellington and Creative Director of Aspen Restorative Consulting in Wellington, New Zealand.

Kathleen McGoey
Kathleen McGoey is the Executive Director of Longmont Community Justice Partnership, Longmont, USA.
Article

Legislative Reform in Post-Conflict Settings

A Practitioner’s View

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 1 2019
Keywords post-conflict, rule of law, law reform, legislative reform
Authors Nathalia Berkowitz
AbstractAuthor's information

    Following conflict, considerable effort is often dedicated to legislative reform. This effort includes not only domestic actors but also international actors frequently acting with the aim of establishing the rule of law. This article seeks, first, to provide some context for legislative reform in post-conflict settings and outline some of the criticisms that have been made. Drawing on the work of legislative experts, the article then identifies some of the simple questions that those involved in legislative reform ask and discusses some of the key challenges in answering them. The article suggests that establishing the rule of law is more than putting laws ‘on the books’ and that the way in which legislation is created may itself contribute to developing the rule of law. It suggests that as the rule-of-law community develops new approaches, it might find it useful to draw on the approach of legislative experts and their concern with how effective legislation is created.


Nathalia Berkowitz
Nathalia Berkowitz is a former Barrister and legislative drafter working as an independent consultant focusing on rule of law reform. Nathalia has over 10 years’ experience supporting legislative reform and judicial process in countries around the world. She is a UK [Government] deployable civilian expert and faculty member of the University of Salamanca’s Global and International Studies Program. She can be contacted at nathaliapendo@gmail.com.
Article

Restorative justice as feminist practice

Journal The International Journal of Restorative Justice, Issue 3 2018
Keywords Restorative justice, gender-based violence, feminism
Authors Leigh Goodmark
AbstractAuthor's information

    Feminists have viewed the implementation of restorative practices warily, particularly in the context of gender-based harms. Concerns include the devaluing of gender-based harms, the reprivatisation of violence against women and the inability of restorative practitioners to guarantee safety for people subjected to abuse. But this article will argue that restorative justice can be a uniquely feminist practice, growing out of the same mistrust of state-based systems and engagement of the community that animated the early feminist movement. Although some caution is warranted, restorative justice serves the feminist goals of amplifying women’s voices, fostering women’s autonomy and empowerment, engaging community, avoiding gender essentialism and employing an intersectional analysis, transforming patriarchal structures and ending violence against women.


Leigh Goodmark
Leigh Goodmark is Professor of Law and Director of the Gender Violence Clinic at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, Baltimore, USA. Contact author: lgoodmark@law.umaryland.edu.
Article

Scholarship as Activism in the Field of Native Studies

A Potential Model for Peace Studies

Journal International Journal of Conflict Engagement and Resolution, Issue 1 2016
Keywords native, indigenous, activism, practice, peace
Authors Jesse James
AbstractAuthor's information

    Native studies is a field in the United States in which many scholars count themselves as activists both in scholarship and practice because their central focus is service to the American Indian community. This interdisciplinary field provides an interesting contrast to peace studies, a similarly interdisciplinary field that, while normatively committed to the study of peace, consists primarily of research that often does not similarly commit the researcher in service to conflict-engaged communities. This article utilizes first-person interviews and evaluates Native studies scholarship through the lens of activism as a potential model for practice-relevant scholarship in peace studies. The concept of scholarship itself as a peace practice is premised on the consideration of both teaching and publishing as forms of activism, here exemplified by Native studies scholars. When acts of scholarship themselves are considered activism and thus practice, the distinction between scholarship and practice is blurred, presenting a challenge to the binary categorizations that have allowed the academy to privilege the knowledge of scholars over that of practitioners. I argue that the experience of Native studies scholars may offer insight for the construction of a framework for peace studies that accounts for scholarship as activism, and in so doing, is better able to evaluate and include both scholarship and practice.


Jesse James
Jesse James is a PhD student in the joint programme in Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, and the role of international law in assertions of Native and indigenous rights.
Article

13th Sir William Dale Memorial Lecture

Innovation and Continuity in Law Making

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 3 2015
Authors Richard Heaton
Author's information

Richard Heaton
First Parliamentary Counsel and First Secretary to the Cabinet Office.
Article

Access_open ‘Boxing’ Choices for Better Dispute Resolution

Journal International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution, Issue 1 2014
Keywords dispute resolution, decision support, interactive visualization, collaborative deliberation, choice-making
Authors Marc Lauritsen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Choosing among alternatives that vary in multiple ways you care about is one of the most fundamental mental activities, and one that is part of nearly all forms of cognition. Decisional processes often primarily involve balancing competing considerations. When multiple parties with conflicting interests are present, strategic interactions add to the complexity. This article explores opportunities for interactive visualizations in support of such processes, using as background a current software project that is developing systems for collaborative deliberation about choices.


Marc Lauritsen
President of Capstone Practice Systems, Legal Systematics, and All About Choice. The author has served as a poverty lawyer, directed the clinical program at Harvard Law School, and done path-breaking work on document drafting and decision support systems. He is a fellow of the College of Law Practice Management and co-chairs the American Bar Association’s eLawyering Task Force.

Lucas Lixinski
Lecturer, University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia); PhD in Law, European University Institute (Florence, Italy).
Article

Access_open On Fragments and Geometry

The International Legal Order as Metaphor and How It Matters

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2013
Keywords international law, fragmentation, archaeology, Foucault, geometry
Authors Nikolas M. Rajkovic
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article engages the narrative of fragmentation in international law by asserting that legal academics and professionals have failed to probe more deeply into ‘fragmentation’ as a concept and, more specifically, as a spatial metaphor. The contention here is that however central fragmentation has been to analyses of contemporary international law, this notion has been conceptually assumed, ahistorically accepted and philosophically under-examined. The ‘fragment’ metaphor is tied historically to a cartographic rationality – and thus ‘reality’ – of all social space being reducible to a geometric object and, correspondingly, a planimetric map. The purpose of this article is to generate an appreciation among international lawyers that the problem of ‘fragmentation’ is more deeply rooted in epistemology and conceptual history. This requires an explanation of how the conflation of social space with planimetric reduction came to be constructed historically and used politically, and how that model informs representations of legal practices and perceptions of ‘international legal order’ as an inherently absolute and geometric. This implies the need to dig up and expose background assumptions that have been working to precondition a ‘fragmented’ characterization of worldly space. With the metaphor of ‘digging’ in mind, I draw upon Michel Foucault’s ‘archaeology of knowledge’ and, specifically, his assertion that epochal ideas are grounded by layers of ‘obscure knowledge’ that initially seem unrelated to a discourse. In the case of the fragmentation narrative, I argue obscure but key layers can be found in the Cartesian paradigm of space as a geometric object and the modern States’ imperative to assert (geographic) jurisdiction. To support this claim, I attempt to excavate the fragment metaphor by discussing key developments that led to the production and projection of geometric and planimetric reality since the 16th century.


Nikolas M. Rajkovic
Lecturer in International Law at the University of Kent Law School. Contact: n.rajkovic@kent.ac.uk. The research for this article was supported by a Jean Monnet Fellowship from the Global Governance Programme of the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute. Further support was given for the presentation and discussion of earlier drafts by COST Action IS1003 “International Law between Constitutionalization and Fragmentation”, the Institute for Global Law and Policy of the Harvard Law School, the Kent Law School and the International Studies Association (San Francisco Annual Convention). I am indebted to the helpful feedback of Tanja Aalberts, Katja Freistein, Alexis Galan, Harry Gould, Outi Korhonen, Philipe Liste, Nicholas Onuf, Kerry Rittich, Harm Schepel, Anna Sobczak, Peter Szigeti, Wouter Werner and the two anonymous reviewers.
Article

What Virtues and Formalities Can Do for Corporate Social Responsibility and the Rule of Law in China?

仁 礼 誠 人, 人 必 治 法, 法 修 其 德, 德 治 其 國

Journal European Journal of Law Reform, Issue 4 2012
Keywords Chinese rule of law, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), sustainability, Confucianism, formative free speech
Authors Jin Kong
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article explores sustainability problems in China and foreign interests on the ‘rule of law’ problems there. The article undertakes an organic process improvement method (Define, Measure, Analyze, Control – ‘DMAC’) in hope to improve the west’s expectations of China and China’s own becoming of a rule of law nation. Corruption and environmental problems are of particular interest; China’s legal and political reform histories serve as our starting point; synergies between Confucian mercantile philosophy and modern corporate social responsibility principles are the undertones. The article will first Define the scope of China’s environmental, social, and economic problems; it will Measure the effects of these problems by observing the ontological and metaphysical uniqueness of the Chinese notion of ‘rule of law’ from a historical perspective; the Analysis will involve identifying synergies between Confucianism and Corporate Social Responsibility (hereinafter ‘CSR’); from these observations, this article will submit to Controling steps. Consequently, this article recognizes the need for ‘humanity’ and ‘formality’, in the Chinese sense, to aid one’s becoming of a law-biding person in China. The Chinese people will Control the laws that matter to them; those laws will evolve to cure the virtues of the people they are to govern.


Jin Kong
Jin Kong is a JD Candidate at the Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Jin also writes on the topic of sustainability at his blog, The Green Elephant (dot) US – <www.thegreenelephant.us>. The Chinese subtitle is loosely translated as follows: ‘If there is humanity and formality to aid one’s becoming a law-abiding person in China, they wil control the laws that matter to them; those laws will surely cure the virtues of its people and it is from those virtues a nation can govern.’

Michal S. Gal
LL.B., LL.M., S.J.D. Senior Lecturer and Director of Law and MBA Program, Haifa University School of Law; Global Hauser Visiting Professor, NYU School of Law and Visiting Professor, Georgetown University. I would like to thank participants at the conference The Approximation of Laws by Non-EU Countries to the EU Aquis for their most thoughtful comments. Many thanks to Guy Harpaz, Lior Herman, Arie Reich, Avishalom Tor and Spencer Weber Waller for their thoughtful comments and to Asaf Kazir for research assistance. All errors and omissions remain, of course, the author's. Comments are welcome: mgalresearch@gmail.com

Mary E. Vogel
Reader at King's College London.
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